The Conference no one asked for: fiYELC

Ratan Varghese - 3B Computer
Posted on: November 27, 2019

*** The Tin Soldier is intended to be a humorous and entertaining look at issues and events at the University of Waterloo. As such articles should not be taken to represent real events or opinions, and they should not be associated with the University of Waterloo staff or administration in any way. Any similarities to real world events, people or corporations is purely coincidental – or non-coincidental but meant in an entirely joking manner.***

The Fiftieth Year Engineering Leadership Conference (abbreviated “FiYELC”, pronounced “fih-yel-k”), was held at the beginning at the term. This conference exists for the benefit of students who have been trapped in the Waterloo Engineering Undergraduate Program for over a decade, to remind them that there is a life outside of their courses. Yes, you read that right, you don’t have to wait for your literal fiftieth year of undergrad to attend! Forty-ninth year students are also welcome!

Representatives from several clubs on campus educated the attendees, and each other, on how extra-curriculars can make undergrad a richer experience. The clubs represented included the Tin Soldier (the only student newspaper approved by Minitrue), Midnight Moon (the lunar-powered car design team), OwO (previously known as OwO-sa, previously known as UwU-SA, previously known as WUSA, previously known as FEDS), and EngiQueers.
Starting in 1863, the FiYELC was held annually until 1957. That year, the launch of Sputnik caused a disruption in the space-time continuum, making it more difficult for time-travelers to attend. This year, at long last, there were enough people with multiple “natural” decades of undergrad for FiYELC to rise from its slumber. In this year’s FiYELC, only 20% of the 1337 attendees were from the future. We asked some of the FiYELC attendees how they felt about the conference.
“I found it really helpful,” said Timothy Toomin, who is in his 38th year of Electrical Engineering. “After so many years of nightmares about miscalculating the alpha value of BJTs, I realized that there’s more to engineering at Waterloo than the stuff you learn in class. There are so many wonderful social groups to hang out with, and design teams to learn the practical skills that you can’t get in a lecture.”
“I used to think that attending clubs would be an obstacle to completing undergrad quickly,” said Isiah Jameson, a fifteenth year Mechanical student. “But then I realized, it doesn’t matter what I do, I’m trapped here forever. I keep telling myself that it’s all for the slip of paper at the end, but no, I actually just like pain. So I might as well get comfy and meet some new people. And that realization brought me here, to FiYELC, which taught me more than words can ever say.”
“It’s a good reminder of what’s going on here,” said Alexandra Martinez, a Chemical Engineering student returning from a 23-year co-op. “I got so used to the workplace environment that I just sort of forgot what life on campus is like. FiYELC is pretty useful for that!”
“Foolish humans!” said BlubBLUB the Fifth, a hyper-intelligent octopus from the year 3160 who traveled to the present to find the true meaning of Christmas. “I slaved away at UWaterloo Engineering for centuries at the behest of your hairy species, only to learn NOW that Tin Soldier exists? I only ever read the front page article! I will not rest until all humankind has coal in their Christmas stockings, except for the planners of FiYELC!”

“Sorry I was actually looking for Cheese Club,” said Taylor Binks, a first year Mechatronics student. “But turns out, these guys had snacks too! Thanks FiYELC!”

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